When it comes to storing and retaining digital documents, the importance of scanning should not be underestimated. These devices are perfect for saving space, cutting costs, and improving efficiency – you can access information at a moment’s notice.

No matter the size of your business, we can all agree that document scanners are game-changers. Without them, most of us would be lost, drowning in an ocean of paperwork and files. Scary stuff! 

Here at River City Data, we make it our mission to help you escape the monotony of paper, and convert to the digital space. 

But just how did such an integral aspect of our lives come to be so? If you’ve ever stopped to wonder( and even if you haven’t), here is a brief history of how document scanning came to be in your office.

The Humble Scanner

Before we delve into the history of scanning, let’s get some background on that crucial tool: the scanner. The device was invented in Kiel, around 50 years ago, and originated in the guise of the fax machine. The original goal was to transmit information for the newspaper industry.

The first scanners could transmit documents, in the form of images rasterized into pixels and lines. They were also fitted with sensing drums; this means that color originals could be read electronically for the first time. 

The color values were first converted into electrical current. Then, using light sensors, a photomultiplier converted the incoming light into electric current, before amplifying it. This change allowed a high-density range and proved a real game-changer.

The original scanner changed and adapted over time, before developing into the familiar flatbed scanner we all use today. This evolution moved the goalposts once more; it introduced the DDC element to form a ‘scan line.

This tool could use a range of color-sensitive photodiodes to read an image, and then reproduce it in color. Even better: it did all this for a cheaper cost.

As needs developed, so did the form of the scanner. Camera scanners emerged with free-moving lenses to capture 3D objects, and film scanners read slides and negatives. Eventually, the CCD chip replaced the CCD line, and this could read a color document in a fraction of a second, saving precious time.

Over time, the design adapted and changed according to the needs and demands of the user. The familiar products we use today have been on a journey, and are liable to change and evolve over time.

So Why Scan?

Just because we have something, doesn’t mean we should use it – so why did scanning become ‘a thing?’

While the first scanner as we know it was introduced around 50 years ago, the concept has been around for far longer. 

In the 1860s, the Pantelegraph was a device capable of transmitting handwriting, drawings, and signatures over telegraph lines. It was commonly used as a verification tool for signatures in banking transactions.

The concept of storing and exchanging information is not new, and we need to give our (several great) grandparents credit. Things moved on in 1924 with the invention of the wireless photoradiogram, which allowed images to be sent wirelessly overseas.

Moving On

The next stage in the process was the Belinographe, which arose in 1913, and could scan images using a photocell. The brainchild of Edouard Belin this transmitted over telephone lines and created the basis for AT&T Wirephoto service. 

Used by news agencies from the ’20s right up to the ’90s, it acted as the frontrunner to both fax and scanning devices.

Once the requirements of the industry evolved beyond the capabilities of the Belingrophe, it was time for the birth of the flatbed scanner. 

As we discussed, these are the most familiar to us today and gained popularity in the early ’90s. Flatbeds optically scan handwritten documents or images and convert them into a useful digital form for businesses across the globe.

These flatbed scanners are sometimes also known as reflective scanners, mainly due to the way they operate. White light is shone onto the object to be scanned and reads the color and intensity of the light reflected. Technology has developed and advanced, and flatbed scanners can now produce copies of up to 5400 pixels per inch.

There are two types of technology used in flatbed scanners, Contact Image Sensor (CIS) and Charged Coupled Device (CCD) technology.

  • Charged Coupled Device (CCD): The document to be scanned is placed on a glass pane; this can be a book, image, magazine, or similar. A bright light source shines onto the entire document, while a moving CCD scanner captures the content. The scanner contains three sensors lined up, each with a filter: one for blue, one for red, and one for green.
  • Contact Image Sensor (CIS): CIS also uses a mobile scanner, and again, this has a filter to distinguish red, green, and blue light. A blue LED is used to highlight and illuminate the document during the scanning process. Meanwhile, a monochromatic photodiode array is beneath the rod lends of the scanner; this collects light and renders the image.

How We Use Scanning Today

In the modern world, scanning is a crucial part of everyday business. It allows us to collate and collect relevant information without the need for extensive storage facilities. 

In addition, we can access the data we need instantly, thanks to electronic search systems. This, in turn, is a substantial time and money saver. Confidentiality can also be maintained and protected more efficiently, with electronic passwords and sophisticated security systems.

Here at River City Data, we work hard to ensure that your business can run as effectively and efficiently as possible. Our range of services allows you to digitize vast numbers of files, transforming your workspace, and moving your business forward. 

We offer a complete scanning and digitization service, as well as the secure disposal of any records once the process is complete. Why not get in touch today for a free estimate, and take the first steps to transform your business into a paper-free paradise!

 

Is your office in need of a good cleaning and decluttering? Spring cleaning doesn’t need to wait for spring to come, you can clean anytime.

From New Year’s resolutions to everyday to-do lists, the need for a good cleaning is something that never goes away. One of the best ways to clean and declutter your office is by hiring a good document scanning company.

If your business is like most, and you always seem to be drowning in an overabundance of paper, it is time to transfer those physical copies into digital ones. The numerous benefits of document scanning far outweigh the costs. 

Paper files are an outdated and frankly temporary solution to your company’s data storage and management. Scan your files and records today and convert them to your preferred digital format. 

When you are ready for a more permanent solution to your paper problem, look to River City Data for your digital conversion needs. 

River City Data has been a New London Staple for over forty years. We service clients all over the country, and we would love to help you declutter and organize your workspace for more efficiency and better flow. 

Contact us today to see what we can do for you. 

Why should I consider document scanning?

The benefits and reasons to consider a digital document scanning service are numerous. Let’s go over a few of them now.

Lower Costs

According to a study by the International Data Corporation, loss of time and money is a leading cause of revenue loss for corporations today. 

For example, a company that employs one thousand trained and knowledgeable employees will see losses as high as $2.5 million dollars per year on lost time and resources through an inability to both locate and retrieve necessary information. 

It is essential that your company implements an effective organizational strategy. Paper files and physical documents may not be the most efficient method of storing information. 

No matter how well you organize your files, it is inevitable that the clutter and mess will eventually build back up again. You will be forced to waste man-hours to clean and re-organize.  

It is not enough to simply organize and declutter your paper files; you must take the next logical step and digitize your data. 

When you implement a digital document management system, you will help your company save money in three key areas:

  • Supply Costs- paper, printer ink, toner, file cabinets, shelving, storage
  • Labor Costs- improve employee productivity, search by keyword for instant access
  • Space Costs- open up storage space for more valuable uses

When you scan your documents, you are essentially killing two birds with one stone. You are taking care of your clutter problem while boosting productivity at the same time.

Higher Productivity

When you transfer to a digital management system by scanning your documents, you will severely boost your team’s productivity, efficiency, and time management. 

You can implement automated tracking systems and use any labeling system that works for you and your team. Your tedious administrative tasks, such as the management of records and record retention, can be streamlined. 

Your data will be much easier to manage. Your employees will be able to access, copy, and distribute data quicker and easier. 

Your team will be able to get more work done within the system, leaving little need for extra equipment or physical paper copies. 

Most importantly, you will free up valuable office space. When you clear out much of your paper storage, the space previously devoted to its retention can be re-purposed to a more useful occupation. 

Add a few more employee offices, a brand new employee lounge, a conference room, or even a new customer service area. Use that valuable space for a revenue-generating avenue instead of a storage closet. 

Improved Security

The concept of the protection of the urban network . Hands show the protective shield.

Even better than the clearing away of clutter, when you take time to scan and digitize your data, you will enjoy an increase in security. Protect your company and employees from the dangers of doing business in the age of the internet. 

Unfortunately, part of modern life is the threat of identity theft and many other security risks of living much of our lives in an online space. 

When you implement a document scanning program, you will be able to completely remove any physical copies of potentially sensitive information from your office or workspace. That way, there will be nothing for thieves or disgruntled employees to steal. 

Another benefit of a digital document management system is the added protection from accidents or disasters. A locked filing cabinet is entirely susceptible to fire, damage, or disaster. 

When you digitally back-up your data, it is much easier to protect. Many online data retention services employ safety measures such as encryption, access controls, and frequent data backups. 

Once you have scanned and backed-up all of your data, you will be able to shred all of your old and obsolete physical files. The peace of mind you gain will be as good, if not better than the money and time saved. 

Simplified Retention Tracking

Any business that relies on record-keeping has experienced the pains of proper record retention. Legal record retention periods vary, depending on the type of record and the function of the business. 

With physical record storage, the chances of missing a retention time are much higher than a digital document management system. Nobody wants to miss a retention deadline. 

When you scan and convert your data into a digital format, you will streamline your entire data stream and increase the efficiency of your operating system as a whole. 

If you choose the right document management system, you can even implement an automated retention tracking system. You will effectively take the guesswork out of your record retention timeline because the whole system will be continuously monitored and updated. 

If you are ready to do away with all the clutter and feng shui your space, contact River City Data today. We will turn your paper nightmares into digital dreams.